As I sat more or less comfortably among the rows of the Vieux Carre room’s denizens, watching Robert Hess, Paul Clarke, Erik Ellestad, and some Canadian media whore named Boudreau talk about homemade cocktail ingredients, I started to think to myself: “Wouldn’t it be nice if there were a book featuring drink recipe contributions from each of these panelists, and also including recipes for some of their own homemade ingredients? And wouldn’t it be even more splendid if among these recipes were ingredients being discussed at this very seminar, including Boudreau’s Berry Shrub and Amer Boudreau? And wouldn’t it be just too good to be true if such a book also contained contributions from 22 other top bartenders and mixologists, with homemade ingredients brazenly flaunted throughout? And wouldn’t it just be the crowning jewel on this already impressive throne if this book were available for absolutely no charge?”
That’s what I was thinking.
Then I looked down at my briefcase and realized I had about 100 copies of this book by my feet. Then I recalled that we published it.
C.Mixeur is afraid of some things, like walking more than three blocks, trees, nature, and nuclear holocaust. But one thing he is not afraid of is disrupting Paul Clarke when Paul’s trying to lead a seminar. So up to the front of the room he marched, a brief whisper ensued, and moments later Paul very nicely sicked his groupies upon us, depleting our book stock. We later handed the rest of them out at the close of the Spirit Awards (neither of us are afraid to crash a party either). If you are one of the unlucky few to not have received one this week, track us down and we will get one to you (and we are not afraid to utilize the postal service either).
Yes, this is shameless self-promotion. I, you see, am an American Media Whore, far more pernicious than the Canadian breed.
Allow me to close with a brief capsule review of the rest of the day, in a manner I think best captures the experience.
Cochon for dinner, catfish yum, Noah’s Mill Bourbon bigger yum. Back to Monteleone, people returning from Tiki party with coconut heads, people with Sonnema baseball hats, baseball hats now on coconut heads. Over to Arnaud’s French 75 bar, tasty sazerac in a frosty mug, who are these people? I thought you brought them. Why are they sitting with us? Oh they’re gone. To the Casino, peek in the awards, everyone’s drunk, half of them on stage, Dale DeGroff accepting an award, here they all come, give them books. Back out to casino, band starts playing, a few people dance, follow them to exit, more people dance, bartenders from Milk and Honey fight over who gets to hold their award. Over to Giovani’s for midnight breakfast, huge crowd squeezing into narrow door, are you on the guest list? If not just push your way in the list is crumpled up and no one is sober enough to read it anyway. Inside Giovani’s, very hot, soaked with sweat, sausage eating weather, 12 different stations making cocktails, 1 of each for me please. Out the door, New Orleans heat cool in comparison, back to Monteleone, even cooler, Carousel Bar, Gwydion Stone emerges, unmarked bottle, pours a little, it’s Marteau and it’s so wonderful. C.Mixeur struts around lobby, stops at each person - Stephan and Alex from Bitter Truth, LeNell, etc. - guess what I’VE got, wanna try? T.Mixeur follows him like puppy dog, wanting more. Time to head to bed, text message, Absinthe House is hopping, to hell with bed, to Absinthe House, Pacific NW confab on the corner, award winners laughing, losers weeping, big giant beautiful mess.
Home. Sleep. One more day. God help us all.